The Reluctant Leader.

I liked this quote so much, I wanted to put it here, and I think I’ll read the book.

We should bless men and women who have done their level best to escape leadership but who have been compelled to return and put their hand on the tiller. We should expect anyone who remains in a formal leadership context to experience repeated bouts of flight, doubt, surrender, and return. Why would this be God’s plan? Why does God love the reluctant leader? Here is one reason: the reluctant leader is not easily seduced by power, pride, or ambition.

Dan Allender in Leading With a Limp, p18.

Old newspaper cut-out found…

I found this old news paper clipping in my Bible the other day and thought I’d put it here rather than continue to carry it around there.  I don’t know how old this is but I am guessing 8+ years.

I believe there is an important distinction between two senses of the word “religion” that many decent people don’t understand, and I’m not being sarcastic about this.  Religion can be understood and practiced in two very different ways:  as a routine act and as a reflective act.

As a routine act, religion is an object of worship in its own right, an excuse not to think and a justification for violence against those who are not of the same religion.  In this routine sense prayer is a weapon to be used against “pagans,” “heathens,” and “infidels.”  Rent Schindler’s List and watch what happens when any religion becomes an object of worship by its practitioners, a routine to be enforced against unbelievers at any cost including war.

On the other hand, religion as a thoughtful, reflective practice, which is what I hope most people have in mind, is a process of standing back from all of the everyday routines of our lives (including our religious routines) and inquiring whether the results of those routines are likely to be acceptable in the eyes of a being of infinite knowledge, power, and goodness.  In this sense prayer is a means of achieving the highest level of personal responsibility.

— Jim Perry

Rand Quote

I’m about 450 pages into Atlas Shrugged, and ran across this quote somewhere else, but thought I’d post it here.

My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.

– Ayn Rand


“I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved. In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way – an honorable way – in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of his beloved, achieve fulfillment.”

— Viktor Frankl

He said this after suffering through the Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz.

More here.

Earl Woods Quote…

I hope you got to see Tiger play in the US Open, and then hear afterwords how his knee was much worse than any of us thought at the time… It wasn’t just “a little sore” from surgery a few weeks prior — he was playing with a fractured tibia and a torn ACL.  Rocco vs. Tiger was great to watch, but what we saw in Tiger was perhaps the most mentally tough person in all of sports history.

Before Tiger, I probably would have said Lance Armstrong was the most mentally tough.  Lance was also amazingly tough in other ways — who comes back from cancer that bad to be the best athlete in the world at their given sport?   Lance always impressed me as he was up for almost every big ride.  I only saw him lose it once in 7 years of watching — and yes, I watched almost every TDF ride…  But even more than that, the little things always impressed me with him.  He was a master strategist in all the races, especially the big ones.  But most of, he was always concentrating — never letting anything get by him.  The number of times there was a crash all around him and he came out unscathed was amazing — and that only comes from paying attention.

But, back to Tiger… I have never seen anyone so mentally tough — able to will up the most incredible shots when most needed.  And then to see him fight through pain to play good enough to win.  I know a little about knee pain — when my knee got so bad that I fell to the ground trying to start a lawn mower, or later that day when I lifted my leg to see what was hurting, and again fell down in excruciating pain.  No one other than Tiger knows how bad his pain was.  But what was most amazing to me, was that he never knew when it was going to hit.  He’d line up for a shot, and not know if sometime during the shot, or on the follow through, the knee was going to hurt.  Yet he did it time after time after time.

And all that leads into the quote I wanted to record here… The commercial played during the tournament, where Wood’s dad Earl is talking, and finishes with the following quote, is amazing, for a couple of reasons…

1)  The quote is so true… Tiger has to be the most mentally tough athelete I have ever seen.  and

2)  and the 1st part of the quote — “you don’t really instill anything in a child… you encourage the development of it..”   I could write a whole post on this, and maybe will someday.  🙂

“‘I promise you that you will never meet another person as mentally tough as you in your entire life.’

Quote from Into the Wild #4

[Update] I have been getting a lot of hits on the “quote from into the wild” posts — the ones like this that are just a quote without my personal context of the book and movie… So I am going to put in links to my posts on:

the book

the movie

The physical domain of the country had its counterpart in me. The trails I made led outward into the hills and swamps, but they led inward also. And from the study of things underfoot, and from reading and thinking, came a kind of exploration, myself and the land. In time the two become one in my mind. With the gather force of an essential thing realizing itself out of early ground, I face in myself a passionate and tenacious longing — to put away thought forever, and all the trouble it bring, all but the nearest desire, direct and searching. To take the trail and not look back. Whether on foot, on snowshoes or by sled, into the summer hilsls and their late freezing shadows — a high blaze, a runner track in the snow would show me where I had gone. Let the rest of mankind find me if it could.

— John Hains. The Stars, The Snow, The Fire: Twenty-five years in the Northern Wilderness.

Quote from Into the Wild #3

[Update] I have been getting a lot of hits on the “quote from into the wild” posts — the ones like this that are just a quote without my personal context of the book and movie… So I am going to put in links to my posts on:

the book

the movie

Now what is history? It is the centuries of systematic explorations of the riddle of death, with a view to overcoming death. That’s why people discover mathematical infinity and electromagnetic waves, that’s why the write symphonies.. Now, you can’t advance in this direction without a certain faith. You can’t make such discoveries without spiritual equipment. And the basic elements of this equipment are in the Gospels. What are they? To begin with, love of one’s neighbor, which is the supreme form of vital energy. Once it fills the hear of man it has to overflow and spend itself. And then two basic ideals of modern man — without them he is unthinkable — the idea of free personality and the idea of life as sacrifice.

Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhvago.

(McCandless underlined love of one’s neighbor, free personality, and life as sacrifice — I’ve used red and bold here.)